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Team Ireland Heads Home After French Tournament

Ireland beat France 3-2 in Saturday night's Round Robin head-to-head in Calais, France.

London 2012 Olympians Michael Conlan and John Joe Nevin fired Ireland into a 2-0 lead with wins over Nordine Ouballi and Mamadou Bahily.

The Conlan versus Ouballi duel was a repeat of the 2011 AIBA World Senior Championships clash which the Belfast flyweight – who has won three bouts in three days in Calais – won to secure a place at the 2012 Olympics.

Ross Hickey extended Ireland’s advantage to 3-0 with a hard-fought 15-13 decision over Ladjali Malik in the light-welterweight class. Adam Nolan, who has also qualified for London 2012, lost out by a two-point margin to Chabone Fahim from a tough welterweight battle.

Steven Ward was also also involved in a hard contest, the Antrim heavyweight losing a see-saw clash to Aboulaye Diane 15-13. Joe Ward had been targeting his third win in Calais but his three-rounder with Diabra Bakiri class was cancelled.

“Michael, John and Ross had three good wins tonight and Adam and Steven were in against two tough opponents. It was a good night and the lads performed well,” said Irish team manager Des Donnelly

The Irish squad are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at 10am tomorrow, Sunday, June 10th.

Ireland’s 2012 Olympians experienced mixed fortunes in France on Friday night with Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and Darren O’Neill recording wins, but John Joe Nevin and Adam Nolan losing out on Day 2 of the Round Robin tournament in Calais.

Belfast duo Barnes and Conlan beat Moroccan 2012 Olympians Darra Abdelali and Aboubakr Seddik Lbida, Barnes recording a 13-10 win and Conlan edging out Lbida on a countback following a 16-16 tie in Abbeville.

Conlan and Lbida received public warnings for slapping in the second round of this contest.

Nevin lost out to France’s Rachid Azzedine – a team-mate of his with Paris United in the World Series of Boxing -, Azzedine claiming a 15-11 decision.

Marutjan Arajk extended Germany’s lead to 2-0 in their head-to-head with Ireland after earning a 13-9 victory over Nolan.

Arajk’s victory arrived after Ross Hickey lost to Germany’s Artjam Daschyan. Hickey was tied at 7-7 going into the last frame of his encounter with the German light-welterweight, but despite producing a good final three minutes the Grangecon BC man was on the wrong end of a 14-12 decision.

Meanwhile, it was left up to the southpaws to level it up for Ireland versus Germany, with Darren O’Neill and Joe Ward recording a brace of victories.

O’Neill, who beat Morocco’s Badr-Eddine Haddioui 8-7 Thursday, beat Denis Radovan 8-7 Friday, and European light-heavyweight champion Ward powered his way to a 12-5 decision over Kevin Kunzel to chalk up his second convincing win of the tournament.

Barnes, Conlan, Nevin, Nolan, O’Neill and Katie Taylor have qualified for the 2012 Olympics.

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